Afghanistan announced their T20I squad for the 3-match series against Sri Lanka on Monday, 12 February. The Afghans will play Sri Lanka with a below strength team as they lack the services of star spin-bowling duo – Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Rashid Khan.
Both spinners are currently recovering from respective injuries and have not been named in the 16-member squad released by the Afghanistan Cricket Board. The ACB wrote in a press release that Mujeeb had injured his hand before the start of the ongoing ODI series. It is believed that Mujeeb picked up his injury while playing in the ILT20 League in the United Arab Emirates.
Afghanistan will continue to miss the services of their T20I captain Rashid Khan. Rashid went under the knife right after the ODI World Cup and has not played any professional cricket since. The star spinner – rated as one of the greatest in the modern era – has been forced to pull out from BBL, PSL, T20I series against India, and now the upcoming 3-match series against Sri Lanka.
Afghanistan have dropped wicketkeeper-batter Ikram Alikhil and top-order batter Rahmat Shah. Mohammad Ishaq, the wicketkeeper-batter who was also named in the squad for the one-off Test against Sri Lanka, has received a call-up to the T20I side.
In Rashid’s absence, Ibrahim Zadran will continue leading the T20I side. Afghanistan will hope for a better showing in their favoured format after getting drubbed in the one-off Test match and the ODI series. The Afghan side has shown specks of brilliance throughout the tour of Sri Lanka but has not been able to win a single game so far.
Ibrahim Zadran (c), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Mohammad Ishaq (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Azmatullah Omarzai, Karim Janat, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Fareed Ahmad, Naveen-ul-Haq, Noor Ahmad, Wafadar Momand and Qais Ahmad